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Websites Designed Specifically For Mobile Phones?

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Hi,

 

Seems some companies out there are now telling customers that you need a new website for searching the web on a smartphone?

 

See email sent to one of my mates who is convinced that he should run with the offer as he already gets some enquiries from blackberries and mobiles and has asked me if it is worth considering?

 

 

>----Original Message----

 

>From: ************

>Date: 10/04/2012 10:30

Subj: Mobi Website

 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself, As you

can appreciate many people use mobile devices to search nowadays over

50% of searches on Google are through mobile phones alone.

 

As requested, here is confirmation of the Mobile Website Offer.

 

*********** are currently offering a mobile friendly website + your own

exclusive .mobi web address for only £99.95 + vat.

 

This includes a Home, Services & Contact Page as per the example

below:

 

Mobile internet searches already account to nearly 50% of all searches

done on the web and this figure is growing with the growth in smart

phones and mobile internet devices.

 

Why choose *********** for your mobile internet solutions? *********** are the fastest growing Mobile Internet business in the UK and our introductory offer of a mobile friendly website and domain name

for 99.95 + vat is by far and away the cheapest offer you will find on

the web! Look at our website www.************.com

 

Not sure what to advise him!

Edited by DonnaFontenot
removed the name of the company that sent the email

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Tell him to look at his website as it is right now on a smart phone. Is he happy with it? If so, he doesn't need to do anything. If not, then sure, making it easier for smart phone users to use is fine, but he sure as heck shouldn't jump at the first spam email he gets offering to make a mobile friendly site.

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I am guessing that it is not that hard to build mobile version for a basic static site - some sort of code in the HEAD maybe to say "if a mobile, show this version". I will search in a mo.

 

This page gives a nice guide to best practices for mobile sites: http://woorkup.com/2...mobile-devices/

 

Here is a php script that can detect most browsers and redirect if necessary: http://mobiforge.com...e-detection-php

(code also on Google - http://code.google.com/p/mobiledevicedetector/ )

 

I found that here: http://www.sitepoint...obile-subdomain

 

Personally I use Wordpress with a mobile theme / plugin that does it all for me, no code required.

 

What sort of site does your friend have?

Edited by jonbey

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It is just some company doing email marketing who wants to sell this service.

 

Obviously is is better to have a website that looks good on all devices (smart phone, tabs, comps) so it is better to have a responsive web design than create 2 different versions of your site.

 

 

Cheers.

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Here's the few from UX expert Jakob Nielsen -

Mobile Site vs. Full Site

 

Summary:

Good mobile user experience requires a different design than what's needed to satisfy desktop users. Two designs, two sites, and cross-linking to make it all work.

 

However, many in the industry disagree with him, choosing intuitive, "responsive" design techniques instead.

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This is somewhat rare, but I'm with Jakob on this one.

 

I have always felt that the amount of information you can put on a screen and deliver a good user experience is highly dependent on screen size. Of course you can arrange that your PC-designed website can be viewed without too much difficulty on a smart phone. However it is very unlikely to be 100% usable. There'll be a lot of scrolling and some items may be less than ideal.

 

If you believe your potential mobile visitor is important, then you may even need to consider an app to deliver an experience that is truly satisfactory.

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I often agree with Jakob on his usability issues. I'm not happy with "responsive design" in its current state, but I think that just means we are still learning. I will continue to use mobile-friendly plugins for my personal Websites because I'd rather offer my visitors SOMETHING (and SEO Theory gets a fair amount of mobile traffic now). But when I look at these "mobile designs" on my Android I just want to gag.

 

We're not there yet. Not by a mile.

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I read somewhere that JN had "jumped the shark" with his piece on mobile. Here's more:

 

Designers respond to Nielsen on mobile

 

Nielsen's recommendation that publishers build separate mobile sites has been met with astonishment from the industry

 

 

 

Nielsen responds to mobile criticism

 

.net: Cutting out content for the mobile use case is problematic because for about 25 per cent of those who use the mobile web, it's their only use case they don't ever use a desktop browser. Aren't you treating those users as second class citizens if you cut mobile content?

JN: No, to treat users well, you should optimise their ability to do tasks with the device at hand. If somebody only has a mobile phone, they are ill served by a design that's awkward to use on mobiles. When you actually observe people attempting tasks on websites, you see a huge number of painful failures when the poor users are given full desktop sites.

 

Studies show that content is harder to comprehend when viewed through a small viewport with less context than what's visible on a bigger screen. Thus, we can enhance mobile users' understanding of the information by writing shorter content that's easier to understand. What matters is the amount of information in the user's brain, not the word count on the screen. And people understand more with content that's optimised for their device.

 

If users do want the longer and more complex information, they are always able to click through to the full site.

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What I believe Jakob Nielsen is trying to drive home is that context is the new first design case. That does not mean that a site can not deliver the same content to every device, rather that it may not be an optimal solution. Much depends on the site type and it's content and how the various users/devices interact. Of course this does mean a whole different mindset for many/most/all. :)

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I think time will show that Jakob is more on the user's side than most of us. He occasionally changes his mind about things but he is looking at the user's behavior, not the Web publisher's expectations and desires. That is often a bitter pill to swallow and he is no more likely to have jumped the shark this time around than through all the years he has been stirring the pot.

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This is just the age-old debate of product-driven versus customer-centric in another guise. The easy product-driven way is to do what you feel like doing and it's then up to customers to figure out whether it's right for them. If you're pretty good like Google or Microsoft, the final result may not be all that bad.

 

The alternative is to look at the situation from the mobile customer's point of view. What will work for them? Given that we all have blinkers, it's always tough to be sure you're seeing it from the other's point of view. You may have to put in extra effort to be really sure you've got it right.

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